BartPE and UBCD4Win Tips and Tricks

I’ve been working with Bart Lagerweij’s BartPE (Preinstalled Environment) lately to see if I could get a reliable method for restoring partition images created by Runtime Software’s free DriveImage XML. Most of the issues I’ve encountered have been resolved by adding drivers for network and disk hardware. This article describes the changes I’ve made in order to get BartPE to boot on a variety of hardware.

After some time working with BartPE, a forum user suggested that I try the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, also known as UBCD4Win. This is a significant extension to BartPE. I’ve added some comments on UBCD4Win at the end of this article.

Disk Management

I wanted to be able to run Disk Management from the BartPE environment so I could create partitions in a disaster recovery scenario. I finally found an MMC plugin that lets me run not only Disk Management, but also Computer Management with Device Manager and Event Viewer.

In order for the MMC plugin to work, you must also enable the following plugin in BartPE’s plugin list: “RpcSS needs to launch DComLaunch Service first – SP2”. And in order for that plugin to work with Windows 2003 as well as Windows XP SP2, you must edit the plugin’s dcomlaunch\dcomlaunch.inf file to remove the “.2600” from the [SetupReg.AddReg] section. The “.2600” is apparently restricts the registry modification to Windows XP; by removing it, the modification applies to Windows 2003 as well. The respective lines in dcomlaunch.inf now look like this:

; [SetupReg.AddReg.2600] – removed .2600 so it will work with Win2003 as well as WinXP
[SetupReg.AddReg]

Disk Hardware

BartPE recognizes all the IDE and USB drives I’ve used. However, it requires additional drivers to see RAID and SATA controllers. Each set of driver files goes in its own folder (of any name) under BartPE\drivers\SCSIAdapter (even if it’s not a SCSI driver). If txtsetup.oem includes multiple OS choices, I commented out all but the WinXP or Win2003 options in the [scsi] section.

  • For a Lenovo ThinkPad T60p with a SATA drive, I added the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver for the 82801GBM SATA AHCI Controller, then edited txtsetup.oem to exclude all but that driver from the [scsi] section. (Another alternative would have been to change a setting in the ThinkPad’s BIOS so that the hard drive runs in IDE compatibility mode. I did not test this option.)
  • For Dell PowerEdge 1500SC and 1600SC servers with PERC 3/SC and 4/SC cards, I added the Dell drivers for Win2000/2003, then edited txtsetup.oem to comment out the Win2000 driver in the [scsi] section.
  • For a Dell PowerEdge 1900 server with PERC 3/SC and 4/SC cards, I added the Dell driver for Win2003. I used the driver from the CD that came with the server. To extract the drivers, with the Dell “Installation and Server Management” version 5.2 CD in the E: drive, I used the following command to create a folder of Windows 2003 drivers for the PowerEdge 1900:

    E:\server_assistant\driver_tool\bin\make_driver_dir.exe -i e:\ -d “C:\delldrivers” -p pe1900 -o w2003 –extract

    I then used the driver in the w2003\sas_raid\r149460 folder. The txtsetup.oem file only lists Windows 2003, so no edit is required. Note:  this driver will not load unless you build the BartPE environment with a Windows 2003 CD. If you build it with a Windows XP CD, you will get the message “percsas.sys could not be found.”

  • For a server with a SIIG eSATA II-150 PCI eSATA card (model SC-SA2012-S1), I used the drivers from the “Floppy” subfolder of the drivers folder, and edited txtsetup.oem to exclude all but the WinXP driver in the [scsi] section. I also had to modify the [Disks] section to remove the winxp/ subfolder, since the driver is in the same folder as the txtsetup.oem file. The modified lines look like this:

    ; d3 = “INITIO INIC1620 S-ATA Adapter for Windows XP/2003”,winxp\inic1620.sys,winxp
    d3 = “INITIO INIC1620 S-ATA Adapter for Windows XP/2003”,\inic1620.sys,\

Network Hardware

BartPE also allows you to add network drivers. Each set of driver files goes in its own folder (of any name) under BartPE\drivers\Net. In most cases, just copying the XP drivers for any given network card to a subfolder was enough. A couple cases warrant special notes:

  • The Dell PowerEdge 1900 has an embedded Broadcom NetXtreme II adapter. I finally got this to work by following the instructions in this post:
  1. Download and extract the BroadCom NetXtreme II Windows 2003 drivers from the Dell FTP site.
  2. Open the RIS_Drivers folder and edit the b06nd.inf file. Change “class=net” to “class=Net” and save. After doing that, BartPE can handle the RIS drivers. After the change, the [Version] section of b06nd.inf looks like this:[Version]
    signature   = “$Windows NT$”
    ; class = net — Apparently BartPE requires that “Net” be capitalized
    class       = Net
    classguid   = {4d36e972-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
    catalogfile = b06nd.cat
    compatible  = 1
    provider    = %brcm%
    driverver   = 04/05/2006,2.6.1.0
  3. Copy the b06nd.inf and b06nd51x.sys files to their own folder under BartPE\drivers\Net.
  • For the Lenovo ThinkPad T60p, creating a separate folder containing the Intel Pro1000 drivers downloaded from Lenovo is not enough. Google takes me to a few threads about how to create a BartPE plugin, modify .inf files, etc. This is more work than it is worth to me right now. Even if I start using DriveImage XML to back up my T60p, I can always attach a USB hard drive containing the image to restore, so the network is not absolutely required. Update 3/3/2008:  I was having similar trouble getting Intel network drivers to work on a Dell Optiplex 755. I came across a blog that said that the issue is that the drivers are incompatible with Windows 2003, so you have to use Windows XP SP2 media when building the BartPE image. Sure enough, once I had done that, I was able to load the network on the ThinkPad under BartPE!

Boot from USB Thumb Drive

By default, BartPE is set to create a bootable CD, which can only be created on CD-R media (not RW). Working through all the issues above I created quite a collection of coasters. Then I found a little program called PEtoUSB that lets me take the CD folder created by BartPE Builder and create a bootable USB Thumb Drive. Brilliant! CD-Rs are good for the “final” version, since they are more universally bootable, but the USB approach would have helped prevent creating so many dead discs.

Update 3/6/2008:  One limitation I’ve found is that if I use PEtoUSB under Vista to format the USB drive, the drive does not boot. Instead I get this error:

Remove disks or other media
Press any key to restart

The workaround is to run PEtoUSB under XP to format the drive (uncheck “Enable File Copy”), then run PEtoUSB under Vista only to copy files (uncheck “Enable Disk Format”). The only reason this matters is that my laptop runs Vista, so when I’m at a customer site trying to fiddle with BartPE configurations until I get one that works, the Vista laptop is the machine that I have available for creating BartPE images.

UBCD4Win:  The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

UBCD4Win is quite an amazing collection of drivers and utility programs. Unlike BartPE, it is still actively maintained, so it is more likely to contain current drivers and programs. It includes not only Disk Management and DriveImage XML, but browsing, virus checking, hardware testing, and more, all built as extensions to the original BartPE system. I only found two “gotchas” working with UBCD4Win:

  • UBCD4Win has so far been able to load network drivers on every machine I have, including the difficult ThinkPad T60p. It also loaded a driver for the ThinkPad’s SATA hard drive. However, it did not load drivers for Dell’s PERC 3/4/5 RAID controllers. I was able to rectify that deficiency by simply copying the PERC drivers from my BartPE build, then creating the UBCD4Win CD using a Windows 2003 CD as required by the PERC 5 driver.
  • Because UBCD4Win is so extensive, it is also significantly slower to boot than a BartPE CD. (The UBCD4Win .iso file is 537MB as opposed to my BartPE build which is 169MB.)

For now I’ll keep both CDs around:  BartPE for quick booting to a couple of essential programs, and UBCD4Win for a more comprehensive set of utilities that will probably load even on hardware I haven’t tested.

8 thoughts on “BartPE and UBCD4Win Tips and Tricks

  1. Bob Haley

    I use BartPE to create CD-RWs all the time. Not sure why you would be having an issue with them.

    Also, I don’t recall ever having to add the drivers for Dell Perc and Cerc cards. They contain their own bios, and in my experience, present the RAID as a single drive to the OS, which it recognizes. I haven’t tried it yet on my newest PE2900. Curious to see if it will work without additional drivers.

    I have also been using DriveXML with great success. Great free tool – wish they were actively supporting it.

    Anyway, thanks for the other tips. I have been using GPARTED Live for partitioning. Will see if I can get the Drive Management to work.

  2. Mark Berry

    Hey Bob,

    Thanks for the comments. I’m especially glad to hear that DriveImage XML has been working well for you–one does get a little nervous implementing an unsupported program. I set up batch files to back up several workstations across the network using DriveImage XML, then email me the results using the free Blat email sender. Seems to be working well so far.

    I definitely was unable to see PERC-attached drives without loading extra drivers. Maybe your BartPE build has them natively?

    As for the CD-RW, I got something like “invalid disk type” when using Nero to try to burn the CD-RW from a BartPE .iso file. Maybe it was just a formatting error–definitely not a BartPE issue.

    Mark Berry

  3. DanV

    Try XPE for bartpe – the windows shell is handy to have – many true image plugins – and never a problem with TI imaging. Worth the $$$$$

    The perc issue – get updated drivers for your bart build – or check for drivers loading before OS starts – I can’t imagine these drivers DON”T need to load before the OS (press f6 to load ….) for true RAID functions. bart will do pnp devices no problem – RAID needs to install before bart.

    I have about 300 meggs of drivers – just mass storage/nic/wlan/chipset – I know perc drivers are there too.

    check out driverpacks – you may have to do a little tweaking – but it’s worth it.

  4. GoodThings2Life

    Great post, and it definitely helped me this week when I was working on recovering a crashed server.

    Question is– I’m getting an error opening Event Log files getting a “The interface is unknown” error. Have you seen this at all?

    –Aaron

  5. Mark Berry

    Sorry Aaron, “The interface is unknown” doesn’t ring a bell. I have sometimes had problems opening event logs after a DriveImage XML restore. – Mark

  6. GoodThings2Life

    Actually, I was able to figure it out… the Event Log service had not been started (it was set to Manual by default, I guess). Once I started it, everything worked great. Then I made a registry edit in the MMC plugin’s .inf file to set it to automatic on future builds.

  7. Ben Ramsay

    I have a real problem with Driveimage XML, I too live this program but I have a Compaq Presario with sata Hardrive, and I have managed to get it past the start phase but when I go to restore an image it give me a write error with info partition copy error.

    my specs are as follows, it may or may not help :

    HP Compaq Presario CQ40-118ax
    Samsung SATA Hard drive
    4 GB Memory
    installed os is Vista home Basic

    Recovery disk is Bartpe with driveimage XML 2.02, created using windows xp and additional SATA drivers.

  8. Mark Berry

    Ben – I’m still on version 1.x of DiXML, and I’ve never used it on Vista. Did you create the partition (e.g. using tools in UBCD4WIN) before trying to write to it? If you’re having trouble seeing the SATA drive, see if the BIOS lets you emulate PATA mode.

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